Pencil Eyeliner vs. Liquid Eyeliner: Get 'Em Both

Eyeliner is having a strong moment in makeup now and there are a million eyeliners available with so many reasons to choose one over another. There’s one for every look and occasion. As a makeup artist and a woman wearing makeup for decades, I usually prefer pencils and liquid eyeliners as they seem to be easiest to apply and perform the best. If it’s difficult to know when to choose one over the other, read on as there are benefits to each (you should really try both!). Here are some things to consider when choosing which to use and when.

All about Pencil Eyeliner

A great gel pencil liner formula should glide on smoothly without pulling or tugging on your delicate eye area. A waterproof, long-wear formula is a must as the last thing you want is your eyeliner going anywhere you didn’t put it. To enhance your eyes, keeping them bright and appearing more open, your eyeliner should always look fresh and clean not dark and smeared under your eyes.

Best for a blended smoky eye - Pencil eyeliners are usually quite blendable, so when you want to create a smudgy eye, whether its just a simple dab smudged into the lash line for definition or the base for a smoldering, dramatic smoky eye, the creamy texture allows you to blend and build color and intensity.

Most options in color and texture - Pencils usually have a vast color and texture selection compared to liquid eyeliners so when you want to play with color and shimmer, there’s more to choose from. To emphasize your eye color, try choosing an eyeliner color that’s opposite your eye color. If you have blue or green eyes and want to make your eyes pop, try Beauty For Real’s 24-7 Gel Eyeliner in Whiskey, brown eyes look great with Beauty For Real’s In the Navy.

Use on the waterline - A pencil eyeliner is the best option for lining the waterline. It’s hard not to get the liner in your eye when applying liquid to the waterline and that’s a recipe for disaster.

Convenient - Choose a pencil eyeliner that’s retractable and doesn’t need sharpening. It’s inconvenient to carry a sharpener and those little wood shavings can get in your eyes- ouch!

All about Liquid Liner 

Just like when choosing your pencil eyeliner, you want your liquid liner to be a waterproof, long-wear formula to avoid the dreaded smearing that can ruin your day. (or night!)

Most precision - When you want the cleanest, most precise line, a liquid liner is the answer. Once the application is mastered, (practice makes perfect) nothing beats a liquid liner for creating a defined, perfect cat eye.

Ease of use - The two common options for liquid liner are a marker-like pen or one that’s a little pot with a brush. While the brush and pot can last a bit longer, I find the pen much easier to control. A tip with a defined point gives you the most precision. Try Beauty For Real’s Finish Line 24-7 Liquid Liner.

Build intensity - A beautiful smoky eye is all about the intensity at the lash line and gradation of color from the lash line out. To add real intensity to a smoky eye, first line with your pencil eyeliner, then layer over it with your eye shadow darkest at lash line, blended out. Next, to apply more depth and intensity, apply liquid liner very close to the lash line. Finish with tons of mascara.

With lots of options, trying different eyeliners is an easy and fun way to quickly change your make up look. Try a neutral brown pencil for a soft everyday look and black with shimmer, a bright color, a metallic or liquid for night or a more special occasion. Have some fun!

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